Uzi Arad uses farewell party as platform to bash Ehud Barak

Barak, he said, “acts as if there is no law, no Knesset, and as if there were never any investigative commissions.”

uzi arad (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
uzi arad
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Outgoing National Security Advisor Uzi Arad spared no punches Tuesday, turning a farewell meeting with the Knesset’s State Control Committee into a platform for scathing criticism of the Defense Ministry.
The Knesset committee met Tuesday morning for the latest in a series of meetings on the National Security Council, an advisory and coordinating body in the Prime Minister’s Office that, since its establishment, has struggled with the Defense Ministry for authority.
The council, said committee chairman Yoel Hasson (Kadima), serves as an important counterbalance – and has the ability to synthesize – the powerful voices of leaders of defense organizations such as the Shin Bet and the IDF.
During the meeting, Arad reiterated complaints that a number of governmental bodies ignore the NSC’s mandate, and the National Security Council Law. Arad offered the example of Defense Minister Ehud Barak as one of the senior officials who violate the law.
Barak, he said, “acts as if there is no law, no Knesset, and as if there were never any investigative commissions.”
Arad continued to complain that the council that he led was prevented from receiving key “raw” intelligence information, but rather only received a processed report.
The prime minister’s military secretary, Gen. Yohanan Locker, he added, also ignored the advisory body. Locker and Arad reportedly squabbled for months in 2010 regarding the levels of authority of their respective positions.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Arad said, “gives full support to the council.”
Arad called upon Hasson to call both Barak and Locker to testify before the committee.
The outgoing NSC chief did, however, note that the legislation had helped to formalize the status of the NSC.
Arad said that his predecessor, Danny Arditi, knew about the plans for Operation Cast Lead only after the operation began.
In recent years, he added, special lines of communication have been established with five parallel organizations in other countries, and that a special working group has been formed with the NSC’s American counterpart.